Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Samuel Pell House on City Island, Once Part of Pelham

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site

During the latter half of the 19th century, Samuel Pell (ca. 1821 - 1894) was one of the leading oystermen living on City Island in the Town of Pelham. He owned an oyster boat and was called "Captain Pell". In about 1876 he built a spectacular Second Empire style house that still stands at 586 City Island Avenue. Today it is known as the Samuel Pell House.

According to a report of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission dated October 29, 2002, Samuel Pell was:

"the son of Thomas and Maria Pell, was a descendant of the the Pell family of Pelham Manor. By 1850 he was living on City Island and earning his living as an oysterman. Sometimes referred to as Captain Pell, he was the owner of an oyster boat and seems to have been one of the leading oystermen on the island. He married Elizabeth Scofield (1831-68), daughter of William and Maria Scofield, whose family had settled on City Island in the 1830s. The Pells had twelve children, most of whom were still living at home when Samuel Pell erected his new house on Main Street (now 586 City Island Avenue), presumably in 1876, shortly after he bought the property."

The Samuel Pell house is considered to be a well-preserved example of "the free-standing Second Empire style frame houses that once proliferated in the rural areas of New York City but are now increasingly being altered or demolished." Of the thirteen Second Empire style homes that still exist on City Island, the Samuel Pell House is considered the "grandest and best preserved". The house is a three-story frame, five-bay-wide structure with its original clapboards. Much of its original ornamental woodwork remains.

The Samuel Pell House is well worth a Sunday afternoon bicycle ride combined with a visit to the lovely City Island Nautical Museum. The Museum, located at 190 Fordham Street on City Island, is open on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 5 and contains the collections and library of the City Island Historical Society.

Please Visit the Historic Pelham Web Site
Located at


At 8:06 AM, Anonymous dan said...

is it true that arsenic and old lace was filmed at the pell mansion? thanks.


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